Tool for removing extraneous schedules from input file

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A while back there was a thread going around about a tool for cleaning up
unused schedules in a model. For me, this seemed like a very good idea
because I usually end up with a bunch of junk in the schedules folders
which makes it difficult and cluttered for calibration and especially for
reviewing a model which has sat untouched for a year. I recently had the
opportunity to create this tool, and I thought I would share it in case
anyone else finds it helpful.

It should be fairly straight forward to use, but a few details on operation:
- I've run this on many of my projects without problems, but until you've
used it enough to trust, I would always work on a backup copy just in case.
The tool allows you to save the updated file as a new name to facilitate
this. Use at your own risk!
- The program also searches the .pdr file to see if schedules are used in a
parametric run. It won't delete schedules used in any of the subsequent
runs. For this reason, you might see a smaller list of unused schedules in
the tool compared to the eQuest Quality Control Reporting option.
- You will be allowed the option to not delete any of the unused schedules.
If you choose to not delete a weekly or annual schedule, it will also not
delete any week or day schedule which depends on these.
- It only works on the ..SCHEDULE-PD keywords used by eQuest, so it
currently won't pick up any schedules created with the ..SCHEDULE keyword
for those who use this when manually editing the .inp file.

I'm attaching Bill's original post to credit him with the idea.

Aaron

Does anyone know if such a tool exists?

I would like to be able to "clean up" a model by removing schedules
(annual, week, day) and perhaps other inputs (utility rates,
performance curves) that are not used in the model. Perhaps this would
be an Excel macro that searches an input file and then asks for user
confirmation before deleting the unused schedules/curves etc.

If this hasn't already been created, this would be an excellent way
for some intrepid engineer/student/geek to earn some street cred.

~Bill

William Bishop, PE, BEMP, BEAP, LEED AP

Aaron Powers2's picture
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Bill, answers to your questions below. I'm posting this back to the users
group in case anyone else wants to try it.

I would like to try this tool out. Can you put together a quick User?s
Guide?

- When/how do you run the program?

The tool is a stand-alone Java application (.jar extension), so you must
have the latest Java Runtime Environment on your computer. You can check
to see if your computer has Java here:
https://java.com/en/download/index.jsp. The .jar file is just like any
other executable file, so you should be able to just double click to run.

These are the steps i use to run the tool. I mostly work in modeling
existing buildings, so my process might be a little slanted toward that
industry. But I'm sure there are some aspects of new construction, LEED
modeling, etc. which could also benefit from the tool. From my experience,
most modelers have developed their own idiocentric processes, and so I
expect that if anyone finds the tool helpful, it will be used in different
ways and at different times.

1. Create your model using eQuest. At any point in the modeling process,
you may find that your schedules folders are cluttered with unused items.
For me, this is when I've imported my own custom schedules and abandoned
the eQuest default. Save the model and close eQuest. It goes without
saying, but the model should be in "Detailed Mode" before you use the tool.

2. Open the "DOE2 Schedule Deleter.jar" file. Using the "Load .inp File"
button, navigate to and select the inp file created by eQuest. It's no
problem to select the original inp, but I understand the paranoia with
modelers and file corruption, so you can also work on a backup copy if
this is your thing.

3. The tool will detect any unused schedules in the model, including both
the inp and prd (parametric runs) file if it exists. For the tool to be
able check the parametric runs, the .prd file must be in the same folder as
the .inp file and must have the same name (minus the extension). For
example, if you load MyModel.inp in the tool, it will look for MyModel.prd
for the parametric data. This is done by default in eQuest, so you
shouldn't have any issue here unless you are working on a copy of the inp
or you accidentally select an auto-generated parametric run inp file.

4. The detected unused schedules will now be displayed in the table. Next
to each schedule is a check box. If the box is checked, the tool will
remove that schedule. De-select any schedules that you do not want
removed. Note that, if you choose to not delete an annual or week
schedule, the tool will automatically also not delete any week or day
schedule that these use.

5. When you've made your selections, click on the "Delete and Save" button.
The tool will update the inp file to remove the unused schedules you've
selected. You have the option of either saving as the same name, or saving
as another name. I've had no problems using the former option, but the
latter is available for those concerned with file corruption.

6. Close the tool.

7. If you've saved as the same name, simply re-open the eQuest .pd2 file of
this project. You should see that the schedules you selected are removed.
If you've saved as a new name, you will need to open eQuest and select the
"Load .inp" option.

- Does your model have to be open?

No, the model does not have to be open. In fact, it's best that it's not
open at the same time. I believe that eQuest reads the inp once when you
first open it. So if you were to make changes to the inp while having it
open in eQuest, no changes would be made.

- Does the program need to be installed in the same folder as the
model?

No, the program can be installed and run from any location.

- How is SCHEDULE-PD used versus SCHEDULE?

According to the DOE2.2 Vol2 Dictionary reference mannual, the SCHEDULE-PD
keyword is equivalent to the SCHEDULE keyword, and is provided as a
convenience to user interfaces, such as eQuest. Although they are
equivalent, there is different syntax when defining a schedule with the
SCHEDULE keyword vs the SCHEDULE-PD keyword. From what I can tell, the
SCHEDULE keyword is more friendly to hand written .inp files, and is a
legacy from back in the day. From what I understand, eQuest only uses the
SCHEDULE-PD keyword, so there shouldn't be any issues here unless you have
schedules that you've hand written with the SCHEDULE keyword. I think RMI
did an excel tool at one point to create schedules, and I'm not sure what
keyword they used when writing the inp. Anyway, I didn't include the
SCHEDULE keyword because it would have been more work, and I don't ever use
it.

Aaron

Aaron Powers2's picture
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Does anyone still have this Schedule deleter application

sranasbm's picture
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Joined: 2023-11-21
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